On April 6th, 2011 I received my mission call to serve in the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo West Mission. The anticipation, the anxiety, the preparation, all led to that one exhilarating moment when I held the next two years of my life, my mission call, in my trembling hands. The opportunity to serve a mission is a privilege I have waited for and worked for and lived for. Beginning on July 27th I will be spending three weeks in the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah to learn Spanish and gain a better understanding of the gospel and how to teach it effectively and with the spirit. I will then travel to the MTC in the Dominican Republic where I will continue my training and be immersed in the culture and language of Santo Domingo. To say that I am nervous would be an understatement; traveling to a remote island with a foreign language and a unique culture to preach a hard truth is an enterprise not typically accepted without some reservations. I will have to learn to understand a people who live and learn in entirely different ways than I would ever imagine. I will have to adapt and endure when my comfort zone is nowhere to be found and “the hard way” is the only way to learn faith and humility. There will be times when I, along with my message, will be accepted, and there will be times when I will be rejected—when my very purpose will be rejected. And yet, there will be that one time when I meet the right person at the right time under the direction of the spirit and the gospel that I have learned and loved will arise inside of that individual a curiosity. A spark of interest or a gleam of hope; that maybe, just maybe we have a Father who loves us. A Father who would send his only Son to die for us, to live for us that we might conquer death and overcome weakness to live with him again. And in that moment, when that one single soul has a change of heart and mind and spirit, it will all be worth it—yes, it will all be worth it. I am ready and willing to enter that white field, sickle in hand, and accept the Lord’s calling to assist in this great harvest undertaken by missionaries across the globe (D&C 4:4). This is my mission, this is my purpose. I have a testimony that this is the Church of Jesus Christ that was created for us the Latter-day Saints. I have a testimony of the validity of the Book of Mormon as the word of God and as another testament of Jesus Christ. I know that Joseph Smith restored the priesthood unto the earth and was a true prophet of God. I have a firm testimony of the power of scripture study and personal prayer as critical in maintaining our relationship with our Heavenly Father. I sustain the prophet Thomas S. Monson as being a true prophet of God, and one who receives direct revelation from our Heavenly Father. I know that our Savior lived and loved us and that he provided us a way to be with our Father again and to live with our families for eternity.
I am immensely excited to preach the gospel to the Dominican Republic and I hope that you might follow me as I embark on this great journey.